WARNERS (AP) — Law enforcement officials in the Syracuse area say the state police’s consolidation of its helicopter operations to Rochester leaves an air coverage gap in Central New York.
State police on Wednesday shifted their aviation units in Syracuse and Batavia to Rochester International Airport. State police officials say the consolidation is intended to make aviation operations more efficient.
But Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh says the move leaves a 10-hour gap in daily air coverage in the Syracuse area. The state police and sheriff’s office previously had split 20 hours of daily coverage. He says the county’s Air One police helicopter is now the region’s only law enforcement copter, with 10 hours of daily operation.
Walsh says his department would need at least another $250,000 in funding to cover the full 20 hours.